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Savoy to Release Bird Remix Disc

Traditionalists, take cover. Savoy Jazz will make its first entry into the burgeoning jazz remix genre on October 21 with the release of Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project. The title, besides being a horrible pun, is a bit misleading. While Savoy did open its vault-a room filled with sacred documents by the unquestionably legendary alto saxophonist-to the contemporary artists featured on the disc and give them free license to cut Bird up tracks, there were no rules stating that they had to use them. The label simply invited these artists “to lay down their original interpretations of Parker’s classic Savoy repertoire-circa 1944-1948.” So it’s actually part covers project, part remix project. The forthcoming disc sounds intriguing nonetheless.

The artists on Bird Up come from different genres, even though Ravi Coltrane and Hubert Laws appear on the disc, it’s not a jazz affair. Dan the Automator has produced in the genres of rock, rap, electronic and God knows what else, the RZA raps and produces for Their Royal Highnesses the Wu Tang Clan and the Kronos Quartet do that avant-garde classical chamber group stuff. Other peeps on Bird Up include R&B bassist Meshell NdegeOcello, N’awlins crooner Dr. John, ambient producer Hal Willner, Garth Hudson of the Band and Serj Tankian, who sings in the alternative metal group System of a Down. A few of the tracks are artist collaborations, see the track list below for full info on who plays on what. Each artist was also asked to rename the song he or she remade, Willner and Mocean Worker renamed “Salt Peanuts” “The Mr. Peanuts Chronicles” and Ndegeocello turned “Relaxin’ at Camarillo” into “August 29.”

There are certainly going to be some folk who balk at the whole concept of Bird Up. Dan the Automator offers this now very familiar explanation of why we should all embrace it instead: “It’s like coming full-circle. I get to re-interpret music that inspired me when I was starting to make tracks, so as maybe to inspire others. I hope, too, that maybe these remix records might introduce Charlie Parker to a new audience.” Sure hope so, Dan-O. Here’s track list:

“Now’s the Time (No Time Like Now),” Red Hawk (featuring Deke Damascus)

“Relaxin’ at Camarillo (August 29),” Me’shell Ndegeocello

“Salt Peanuts (The Mr. Peanut Chronicles),” Hal Willner and Mocean Worker (featuring the Kronos Quartet and Dr. John)

“Bird of Paradise (Gone),” Serj Tankian

“Congo Blues (Silencer),” Donk (featuring Ravi Coltrane and Wild Children)

“Steeplechase (Sittin’ on 22’s),” Dan the Automator

“Cheers (X-ecutioners Style),” Rob Swift (featuring the X-ecutioners)

“A Night in Tunisia (Downpour),” Donk (featuring Donk & the Coconut Tree and Kodo)

“Shadows of Nuff,” Hal Willner and Mocean Worker

“Perhaps (Someday the Roof Will Get Fixed),” Dan the Automator

“Barbados (Where Fish Fly),” Matthew Backer for the Alien Among (featuring Hubert Laws and Redback)

“Constellation” El-P

Originally Published